to Cry Wolf! We are an 18+ AU, intermediate to advanced Mercy Thompson/Alpha and Omega RP set in present day, in the Tri-Cities of Washington. We are a premium board with a 250 wordcount. Please make sure that you register with your characters name in Proper Case. Not in all caps. Example: Mercy Thompson. We welcome you to the site and if you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out to the staff.
No knowledge of the books is required. All the information needed is available on site. We ask that you read over the species information before rolling one of that type, as there are a few key differences between Mercyverse creatures and the ones you might know.
We put emphasis on the slice-of-life RP with the occasional event to throw things off. ;)
Skin made by Tana @ Cosmo, Shine, and ATF. Graphics, custom stats, forum, profile structure, mini profiles and coding tweaks thanks to Ara. Templates thanks to Becky of Candyland. All apps, threads, fae lore, and plots belong to their respective members of Cry Wolf. Most importantly the Mercy Thompson Universe is thanks to Patricia Briggs for creating such an interesting world for us to enjoy.
Limit of 1 wizard per player
While witches are manipulators of senses, wizards' magic tends to be more physical. It is much easier to become a powerful wizard and remain a good person than it is to be a powerful witch. Their magic focuses on nonliving things and have power over the physical. While a witch might be able to move an object a short amount, a wizard can do much more. In the reverse, a wizard cannot influence the senses in the way a witch can. Wizards are extremely rare, primarily due to the volatile nature of their magic. They grow in power with age. An older wizard is capable of a great deal more than a younger one. While witches are batteries, capable of running out of power, wizards are fonts of it. They must use magic or it will consume them.
A wizard's magic is much more elemental than a witch's would be. They are the spellcasters that can do things such as summon fire to their defense. Because of this, they are extremely secretive with how their powers work. They generally have power in mind when they begin pursuing their craft. Like witches, it is a matter of being born with the ability. Unlike witches, however, the power will manifest regardless of training and most wizards do not survive this if left to their own devices. Other wizards can detect their own kind, frequently claiming that they smell of magic when, in reality, there is a glimmer of power around them.
Glimmer of Power
All creatures possess an aura and wizards are capable of seeing that aura to a certain extent. While they cannot smell what an individual is, they can tell by looking at them and focusing, allowing them to determine just what they're seeing. Because of this, fae's glamour is all but useless and vampires, walkers and werewolves are easily outed. For this reason, wizards tend to keep that ability very much a secret so as not to get themselves put on a nonhuman hitlist by those wishing to keep their secrets. It is, after all, considered extremely rude to out someone still hiding their nature from the world.
Wizards possess a longer than average lifespan, frequently living up to 150 years, though they age only slightly slower than a human. For example, a wizard at 60 might pass as 45 if they're lucky, but there's no stopping aging like a werewolf or vampire.
Growing Up Wizard
Wizards are born. Not necessarily to wizard parents, but somewhere in their bloodline was another wizard. Usually this information is unknown to the family at large, but a child that harbors a wizard's power is capable of a great many strange things. Objects around them will go missing only to wind up in unusual places. (Car keys gone? Check on top of the cabinets. Shoes missing? Look in the shower.) House fires are extremely common and this is one of the reason wizards are so rare. Very few survive to adulthood. There is no indication that the child is whats causing this, it's simply a series of strange events occurring time and time again. Most frequently, these events are ignored as wizards are generally unknown to the population and there is no way to connect them to the individual inadvertently causing them. It isn't the will of the child causing these strange occurrences, simply the manifestation of magic seeking an outlet.
Usually around puberty, the power within the child has grown to the point of no return. Without an outlet, it will consume them, resulting in the child's death. This is avoidable only if another wizard spies their glimmer and intervenes. This is usually done by bluntly informing the child that they know about the strange things that happen around them and that they can help. Because this is, obviously, a rather creepy thing to say to a stranger, many are rebuffed and the resulting death is the same.
If their offer is accepted, the training begins immediately. The child is given an outlet for their magic in the form of the most basic spells and is given a very strict set of rules. These rules are fairly universal but might differ from teacher to teacher. They are as follows:
Keep it secret.
We are not witches. We do not kill for our power.
It is your duty to teach others should you find them in time.
It is your duty to learn.
It is your duty to perfect your powers.
The magic is a tool, but we are it's instrument.
Respect the magic.
Respect your fellow wizard, but fear them for the power they possess.
Your archive is your legacy.
Individual teachers may add their own rules, change wording or combine rules. But the gist is the same: Magic is a tool to be kept secret and you are responsible for it.
Training frequently results in a close relationship between teacher and student. Frequently a lifelong bond, it becomes the teacher's responsibility to instruct the student and, obviously, teach them how the focus their power and keep it from overwhelming them. That is the lifelong struggle of a wizard: To let off enough power so as not to be consumed by it. Training generally consists of the spells the elder wizard knows being passed down to the younger one. It is a slow process because the elder must make sure their student is capable of mastering each spell before moving on to the next one. Given the volatile nature of their magic, wizards must be careful to have absolute control. Training can take years and frequently lasts a lifetime, though usually once the teacher has taught everything they know, the two begin to seek new information together. It isn't uncommon for a student to keep a journal documenting their training so they can refer to it should they have a student of their own.
The first thing a wizard is taught is how to tap into their power and release it. This is frequently done in a big open place with a fire extinguisher because it usually results in a lot of collateral damage. The next step is, obviously, how to turn it off. Once that is mastered, training progresses.
One of the most important parts of a wizard's learning relationship is the building of a staff or rod. These are extremely personal tools and are frequently carved by hand and treated lovingly. To lose a staff is a horrible thing, if only because making them is such a long process. (See casting below for more information.
One of the primary focuses of a wizard beyond their magic is their archive. Archives are collections of knowledge. Whether books about various topics (science wizards, anyone?) or handwritten accounts of events or encounters, a wizard's archive is an important part of being a wizard. Frequently they become collections of information about nonhumans and historical events. They are guarded with a wizard's life and access to them is considered a very important privilege. Not just anyone is granted it, only those a wizard would trust with their life. When a teacher passes on, their archive is frequently given to their student and so forth. If a wizard has no student when they pass, it isn't uncommon for them to have given word to another wizard (trusted or not, no wizard will disrespect an archive) so that it will remain in the hands of another wizard.
Archives frequently start small and it becomes increasingly difficult for a wizard to pick and choose which bits of information to keep and remove. They most often start as a small handwritten journal documenting their training and many will contain favorite books that are entirely unrelated to the nonhuman community or world history. When passed on, it is extremely uncommon for any of these books to be removed as the archives become a personal history and as a result some wizards with passed on archives wind up with copies of The Secret Garden or Tale of Two Cities tucked in besides Steven Hawking and handwritten journals. They eventually turn into grand libraries of specific information, often in crumbling books that are no longer legible but throwing them away would be a sin among the wizarding community.
While wizard's power is internal, there are outside influences that give them an added boost to what is already a volatile magic. They are acutely aware of this magic and, fortunately, while the Tri-cities lay on one it is beneath the Columbia and, thus, diluted by the running water and offers no additional power to a wizard's spells. The primary ley line focal point is South-West of the Tri-cities in Maryhill. Enough of a drive that most wizards don't bother as any spell they're casting would be rendered virtually pointless.
Ley lines criss-cross the United States in seemingly random directions. Some just end, while others merge and continue on. There's no rhyme or reason to them (that anyone can tell) and some wizards have dedicated their lives to trying to map them. However, they are fickle things and many maps very quickly prove obsolete, which leads some wizards to think that they are a thing of fae. The closest center of power to the Tri-cities is the Maryhill Stonehenge, a few hours away. It isn't uncommon for wizards to go here simply to observe it.
While witches are frequently hired on by groups to hide things from the masses, wizards are occasionally hired to provide information on events or species an individual might be lacking information on. For example, if a seethe master is curious about a new vampire in their territory they might inquire after a wizard to see if he has any information about the individual in his archive. Of course, most wizards ask for payment up front regardless of the results. And the results, of course, are irregular. But it's still a thing people look into.
Focus, focus, focus
Casting a spell for a wizard is a complicated process.
While they are veritable fonts of magical energy, getting that energy into any sound method of use is the tricky part. Because of this, many wizards implement a staff or rod into their spells. This is a method of focusing their cast and helps them to control it. In a pinch, any stick-like object will work but likely won't survive the first spell channeled through it.
A wizard's staff or rod is tempered during their training to survive spells. This is frequently done via a combination of slowly feeding one's magic into it and handling it regularly until it becomes accustomed to the individual. While a wizard can handle another wizard's staff it will rarely offer the same control over the spells as one's regular staff.
The steps to crafting a staff or rod are the same no matter which route the individual goes. It must be predominately wood. (The preference is up to the individual and of very little importance in the long run.) It must be bound by metal rings (frequently forged by the wizard themselves.) (Like the wood, the type of metal is unimportant and is chosen by the wizard for personal preference.) The final step to a staff is any personal touches such as paint, runes, crystals, etc. Anything the wizard feels will help them channel their magic. Because of this, a first staff usually has 'cheats' on it including spells and rituals. It isn't uncommon for a wizard to make several staves over their lifetime and some frequently make back ups in case their original is destroyed.
Casting the spell is frequently a channeled thing, focusing the energy within them through the staff or rod. They use this as a focus and use it to direct where they want the spell to go. There aren't words said when casting, it's simply an invocation of will. The wizard must have a relatively clear mind when casting (another thing that makes their magic so volatile) and must have a clear idea of what they hope to accomplish with the spell. While they do not need to invoke words, their hands must be free so as to direct the spell and to go through the motions of casting. Like martial arts, you can't just stand there and cast, you must move to direct the spell. For example, if you are binding someone's hands, you might twist your own hand to encourage the spell around their wrists. To direct your push upward, you might wave an arm upward. It's a complicated and frequently unattractive dance. Of course, interrupting these things isn't overly difficult... If you can get to the wizard. A swift kick to the gut or binding their hands renders them nearly useless.
For maintained spells (ongoing fire burning solely on magic, for example) the will must be maintained and anything breaking the focus will cause it to fail. In an effort to help their focus, in addition to their staves, many wizards will also draw circles to help focus their power. Wizards all hold a great deal of power, their skill comes in focusing it.
While wizards do not need to store power like witches, they are just as capable of running out of it. Their power is no different than a physical ability, use enough of it and it will lead to exhaustion and the wizard will need to recuperate to get back to normal. Because of this, many wizards do their best to stay physically fit so as to increase their stamina. Eating well and getting enough sleep can also help keep one's power up.
Basically, a wizard is a powerful spellcaster, but requires a lot of concentration when actually casting spells. While a witch can churn spells out until they run low, a wizard can continue to throw spells out until they collapse from exhaustion but need more time to sit and think on the spell before doing so.
Frequently asked questions
How are wizards different from witches? Wizards are more powerful than witches and tend to do more elemental magic while witches do more manipulative magic. Plus staves, not being in familial groups, more volatile magic and frequently not surviving to adulthood.
My wizard wasn't trained and just figured things out on his own! Nope. You train or you die. Figuring this out on your own isn't really something that happens since there's no controlling the magic and one isn't innately aware of how to tap into it. Alongside this, you may not play a wizard with incomplete training. They must, at least, learn how to control their power and master this though they, of course, are always learning new spells.
Are there gender restrictions to wizards? Nope.
Do they have to carry their staff/rod with them at all times? Given that most wizards don't intend to be doing magic at the grocery store, nope.
Why only one wizard per player? They're rare. Wizards rarely survive past their childhood and, as such, there aren't that many running around.
What happens if a teacher dies? In theory, they'd die after teaching the student control (no wizards that cannot control their magic will be allowed to be rolled, so every IC wizard will be able to control themselves) the student would have access to their archive so they could continue to teach themselves. It would, however, be a much slower process and their power would be considerably less than a wizard that has had several years of training under a teacher as they would have to learn via trial and error as opposed to having specific instructions.
How long does training last? It's an ongoing, never ending thing. A wizard usually has control within a few years. Usually by the time they've graduated high school they've obtained control but will continue to learn details and more precise spells from their teacher.
I've got a young wizard that killed his teacher... Again, no. While killing the teacher might happen in theory, most wizards become very attached to their teachers and with wizards age is power. A fifty year old wizard will wipe the floor with a twenty year old one without really trying.
So, leylines? They exist, but the most prominent one in the Tri-cities runs under the Columbia. The water basically negates any power it might have. However, if you are threading outside of the tri-cities you are welcome to say there is a smaller trickle of one nearby to amplify their powers.
Would leylines work with witches? Yes, but in a different fashion. A witch tapping into a leyline would find that they don't deplete their power like normal. But given the fickle nature of leylines to begin with, both witches and wizards might be left without it when it decides to move.
Can a wizard have more than one student? It's rare for a wizard to take on more than one student at a time, but it can happen, especially when one student is nearing either the end of their training or is advanced enough to not need constant supervision. A second student will frequently be a great deal less educated in wizardry than the first and the pair (teacher and elder student) will often team up to educate the newest addition to their group.
Wizards must channel their spells or they prove to be uncontrollable. It is extremely easy for a wizard to lose focus or control of a spell. Their spells tend to be more elemental based than witch's.
Fire Light - A spark of flame. Enough to light a candle or start a larger fire if near kindling. A simplistic spell and among the first taught. Ignite Taught between 'light' and 'burn' Ignite will attempt to catch the target on fire. It is more powerful than light but can be put out easily, unlike burn.
Burn - A continuous flame that must be channeled. Fireball - Exactly what it sounds like. A quick burst of flame sent in a direction. Easily cast, but taxing if done repeatedly. Heat - Rarely used for anything more than heating up forgotten coffee. On a grander scale, it can heat up something enough to burn someone touching it.
Force Push - Almost like a physical shove. When directed in a wide range, it's a push, when pinpointed, it can tear through flimsy materials. May be directed in any direction. Cut - A slice of physical force similar to Push but with an edge to it. A higher cost spell, it's effective against skin but can cost more energy against thicker materials. Move - Similar to push, this moves an object where the wizard wills it. It won't work on larger objects, but is much more detail oriented than a witches' ability to do similar. Bind - Physical force binds the target, prohibiting movement. If precise enough, can bind only hands/feet or the entire body.
Move-Me - A riskier version of 'move' in which the wizard uses force on themselves to move them from one place to another. Usually only works on short distances and frequently taught early on if only because teachers find it funny to watch students try to perfect it.
Ice Slick - Covers the ground in a sheet of ice. Doesn't work for long if the surrounding area is hot. Ice Lance - Sends a shard of ice in the intended direction. A difficult spell. Freeze - The temperature drops and ice forms where it can. If used on a stronger level, it can freeze people in place temporarily by coating their legs with ice.
Chill Used mostly for cooling down overly hot food. Can also be used to chill objects to an uncomfortable level.
Ice wall - A spike of ice juts from the ground to serve as a temporary (and breakable) shield. Strangely, does not cause property damage.
Arcane Dazzle - A brilliant series of fireworks-like light. It's pretty, but also distracting. Simple spell, taught early. Orb - A ball of arcane energy that is difficult to maneuver and tends to explode on contact. Will cause burns to the individual it hits.
Arcane Spear - A spear of magic that is either very narrow or very spread, depending on the focus. Can either penetrate a target or collide with them, inflicting fire-like burns and brightly coloured lights.
Other Repair - A misleading name, but effective. An extremely difficult spell mastered only later on in the wizard's years. Revitalizes objects and returns them to a previous state. Only works on inanimate objects and is extremely taxing. Used primarily in maintaining the archive. Very taxing and requires a great deal of attention paid to it. Tracking - Requiring a part of the individual being tracked (blood, hair, skin, etc) can track their current location. Frequently requires a map. To Me - Yanks an object towards the wizard. Hard to do gently/with a lot of control. Some argue this is just another aspect of Push. Alarms - A sort of magical trip-wire. The stronger the spell, the louder the alarm. Goes off if the spell is 'tripped' in a specific way (crossing through a doorway, touching something, etc.) Scrying - Peering into a black bowl of water. See things that are not where you are. When used in conjunction with tracking, more details about the location can be seen. Requires some previous knowledge of the location. (For example, you could look into your parent's house because you have been there and know it intimately) A lack of knowledge of the location generally leads to vague or missing details. (An individual might see the sign they see daily clearly, but the surroundings are blurry or missing and they might be able to see inside a building they do not know well, but details such as the number of steps, where there are doors or people might be missing. Similar to a poor television reception.)
Golems - A simplistic construct fueled by magic. Frequently made out of wood, they are extremely simplistic in function and can rarely do more than a single task (frequently this task is organizing and maintaining a wizard's archive or simple tasks around the house like a butler.) Golems are rarely more than 3 feet tall and usually made out of household materials. Wood, fabric or metal aren't uncommon. Clay and dirt don't seem to hold magic as well and golems made out of these materials fail after a short period of time. They possess no personality of their own, cannot communicate and while many wizards give them faces, cannot show emotion. They are hollow shells until filled with magic and then exist only to serve their purpose and accomplish the goals the wizard tasks them with. A wizard must constantly be funneling magic into a golem for it to continue moving. They are a good way to keep a wizard's magic from consuming them and are often taught to student wizards after they've mastered a few spells. The first golem is frequently made out of rags and only as a wizard establishes themselves will it be crafted out of other materials.
Bear in mind that wizard spells require a great deal of focus and interrupting them can result in it fizzling out or going haywire. They can run out of power in the same fashion a person can grow tired after a run.